Friday, 18 November 2016

Book Review - All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon

Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her brother, to her collection of bears. And then one day everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up, her father moves across the country, and Nancy stops talking.

Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She always knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but she was sure it was worth it – until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva with only his diaries and a voice in the back of her mind telling her that perhaps she's sacrificed more than she meant to.
The family are trying to negotiate their way around the parents breaking up and having to invade on Aunty Eva for Patrick's bi-weekend visits.  Nancy has stopped talking and can only manage the odd whisper in a safe place whilst Joel is desperate for attention.

From the moment I saw the cover and read the description I knew I wanted to read this book.  I wasn't disappointed.  As soon as I started I was hooked on the characters, 10 year old Joel who can't sit still and has a penchant for musicals, chatterbox 4 year old Nancy and her parents; kooky Caitlin and up tight Patrick. Throw in Eva, Patrick's widowed sister and two adorable pugs Bumble and Bee and you have the recipe for a heart breaking but uplifting story.

The story sensitively deals with a number of issues including selective mutism, bereavement and divorce.  It gently guides the family through the situations with the reader developing a real ache to want to reach out and help.  To be honest by the end of the book I was an emotional wreck.

If you want a book to snuggle onto the sofa with whilst hibernating from the cold, then choose this one, you wont regret it.  Just don't forget to have the tissues ready!

All I Ever Wanted is released on 1st December 2016 and is published by Hodder & Stoughton 

I was kindly provided a free copy from Hodder & Stoughten via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Book Review: The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

Evan is a nurse, he is also an assistant.  He works for a sponsored Euthanasia project assisting the terminally ill to achieve an end they feel comfortable with.  Evan doesn't tell his friends and lovers what he does, and his Mother; who has a degenerative disease seems more than comfortable with his job and his role in her future.  As time goes by Evan finds the lines blurred and considers his situation. Who has the choice to live or die?

The main character; Evan, has few friends and this is explained by way of his upbringing with his Mother and their seemingly chaotic life.  At times he seems detached and others too involved. He has a relationship with two men which he can't fully commit to. He comes across as a man who struggles with emotions. 

Although not what I would term a page turner, it's interesting and thought provoking. This book covers a highly sensitive subject remarkably well  and I believe would help give an understanding of the thoughts and processes of both the patient and the assistant to the reader . 

Whatever your thoughts on it, Steven Amsterdam has managed to broach the subject with a beautifully careful understanding and an insight into the world of Assisted Suicide through his own work as a palliative care nurse.

This book was provided free of charge by Riverrun & Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release date is 3rd November 2016